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Computer Networks and Applications (XCA)

Credits Dept. Type Requirements
6.0 (4.8 ECTS) AC
  • Compulsory for DCSFW
  • Compulsory for DCSYS
SO - Corequisite for DCSFW
USO - Prerequisite for DCSYS


Person in charge:  (-)

General goals

The fundamental objective is to introduce all the ingredients that come into play in a computer network. These can be divided into two parts: applications, and the lower levels. In the first part we find the applications that are used by computer networks, such as webs, email, etc. In the second part we find the different types of networks and the corresponding devices and protocols that permit efficient communication with applications.

Specific goals


  1. Learn the nature of distributed applications, familiarisation with the most important distributed applications and the protocols they use: Web (and

    http protocol), ftp, peer-to-peer applications, e-mail (pop and imap), DNS.
  2. Understanding the formats for displaying documents served over the Web.

    Introduction to network programming techniques: sockets, remote invocation of operations and objects, programming of Web services.
  3. Learn the information transmission mechanisms used in a network: signal, transmission speed (bps), transmission media, limitations to information transmission, cabling.

    The concept of links, and information meshes. Error detection.

    LANs: protocols providing access to a shared medium, Ethernet protocol. LAN equipment: hubs and commutators.
  4. IP protocol. Learn the format used by datagrams and the uses of the fields they contain. Mastery of IPv4 addressing, numeration, public and private addresses, subnetting.

    Ability to route a datagram, and familiarisation with routing table is required.

    Basic notions of RIP and OSFP routing protocols.
  5. Knowledge of the transport layer protocol and its main functions

    Familiarity with the basic error-recovery protocols: Stop and Wait, Go-Back-N and selective retransmission. Knowledge of the window protocol. Knowledge of

    the main characteristics of TCP and UDP protocols. Introduction to TCP flow and congestion control mechanisms.


  1. Ability to install and configure network applications (particularly Domain Name Servers (DNS), e-mail, and Web applications).
  2. Ability to tackle the programming of distributed applications.
  3. Ability to analyze the specifications of network devices in order to take decisions on designing and mounting a LAN.
  4. Understand manuals describing the configuration of linking and network protocols (particularly IP-related ones). Know-how in splitting a network into sub-nets and assigning appropriate IP addresses.
  5. Ability to recognise and solve network faults.


  1. Ability to decide which network applications are needed in a small or medium-sized company.
  2. Ability to interpret network application terminology and documentation.
  3. Ability to design and choose network equipment for a small or medium-sized company.
  4. Ability to decide which services should be contracted from an Internet provider.


Estimated time (hours):

T P L Alt Ext. L Stu A. time
Theory Problems Laboratory Other activities External Laboratory Study Additional time

1. Introduction to the course.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
1,0 0 0 0 0 0,5 0 1,5
Explanation of network architecture, protocols, and the ISO OSI reference model.

2. Models of distributed applications
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
1,0 0 0 0 0 0,5 0 1,5
Introduction to protocols and application services. The common features of distributed applications.

3. Document exchange
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
3,0 0 2,0 0 1,0 5,0 0 11,0
(i) The Web and HTTP, (ii) File transfer, (iii) Distribution of contents.

4. E-Mail
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
2,0 0 0 0 0 3,0 0 5,0
(i) The SMTP protocol, (ii) Message format, (iii)

Protocols providing e-mail access.

5. Name servers
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
1,0 0 2,0 0 1,0 2,0 0 6,0
(i) architectures and functions, (ii) DNS protocol, (iii) directory protocols.

6. Representation of structured information
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
4,0 0 2,0 0 1,0 5,0 0 12,0
(i) Information types, (ii) Web documents, (iii) XML documents.

7. Networked programming
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
4,0 0 2,0 0 1,0 5,0 0 12,0
(i) Programming with sockets, (ii) Remote invocation of operations and objects, (iii) Web application servers.

8. Data transmission.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
5,0 1,0 0 0 0 9,0 0 15,0

9. Local Area Networks (LANs)
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
4,0 1,0 2,0 0 1,0 7,0 0 15,0
(i) Introduction, (ii) Media Access Control (MAC), (iii) Ethernet, (iv) commutators.

10. Inter-connecting networks
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
6,0 1,0 2,0 0 1,0 10,0 0 20,0
(i) Introduction, (ii) IP protocol, (iii) ARP protocol,(iv) Routing, (v) IPv6.

11. Point-to-point communication protocols
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
5,0 1,0 2,0 0 1,0 10,0 0 19,0
(i) ARQ protocols ARQ, (ii) Internet transport layer (TCP/UDP).

Total per kind T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
36,0 4,0 14,0 0 7,0 57,0 0 118,0
Avaluation additional hours 4,5
Total work hours for student 122,5

Docent Methodolgy

The course comprises three hours of lectures per week in which the teacher will set out concepts that can be dealt with in numerical terms, and provide examples for this purpose.

Evaluation Methodgy

The course also includes lab classes (one hour a week).

Two tests are set during the course (C1, C2), each of which makes up 12.5% of total marks.

The lab grade (NL) makes up 15% of total marks.

The final exam (EF) accounts for 60% of total marks.

The course grade is calculated as follows:

course mark =

0.125 * max(C1, EF) + 0.125 * max(C2, EF) + 0.15 * NL + 0.6 * EF

Basic Bibliography

  • Anders M°ller and Michael I. Schwartzbach An Introduction to XML and Web Technologies, Addison-Wesley, 2006.
  • W. Richard Stevens TCP/IP illustrated, Addison-Wesley, 1994-1996.

Complementary Bibliography

  • William Stallings Comunicaciones y redes de computadores, Pearson Educaciˇn, 2004.
  • Andrew S. Tanenbaum Computer networks, Pearson Education, 2003.
  • Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie Computer networks : a systems approach, Morgan Kaufmann, 2003.
  • James F. Kurose, Keith W. Ross Computer networking : a top-down approach featuring the Internet, Addison-Wesley, 2005.
  • Douglas E. Comer Computer networks and internets : with Internet applications, Prentice-Hall, 2001.

Web links




Previous capacities

Basic knowledge of computer architecture and operating systems.


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